Themes Of Animal Farm
Of course, the main style of the Animal Farm is power. The corruption it brings is portrayed very graphically: we just can’t look aside when all the excellent intents of the Old Mayor drop to the straight-out tyranny. Is the power itself the source of corruption? Or the one who gets the power should be corrupted from the extremely beginning for such awful things to occur?
The novel doesn’t offer the answer to this question (nor does all the viewpoint of humankind). But what we clearly see is that each and every pig, even the seemingly good Snowball, are damaged with power to some extent.
Snowball gets it less than others, maybe, since he is not pretending to be above the rest of the animals: he is friendly with them and treats them as equates to … and surprisingly it does not raise his authority. Napoleon, who behaves like he is better than others is elected as the new ruler of the farm, merely due to the fact that the farm occupants believe he is much better than others.
So we see that to accomplish the power one needs to be not-so-good from the very start. Earning respect with your deeds is hard and long way, while making everybody else regard you just by treating them as inferiors is unfaithful. But it works and works quicker than the sincere way to power. That’s why Napoleon wins.
Snowball still gets some of the control later on– and we see that the only quality that varies him from Napoleon is that he is going to use his power for excellent. Still he supports the concept that pigs must have all the milk on their own as it enhances their psychological activity. Handling the entire farm (a.k.a. the nation) is indeed the very effort and it is worthy of to be paid, but here we see the first crack in the Rules left by Old Mayor (if we checked out the quotes about them, we will see the clear parallel between Old Mayor’s communist paradise and Snowball’s more pragmatic socialism).
Snowball desires other to work hard, sometimes on the edge of their possibilities– however he himself works similarly difficult. His task of the windmill ought to have advantage all the farm, letting its residents to lastly rest. So in a way Snowball was the idealist. The power didn’t damaged him as much as it blinded him. Snowball didn’t see it coming and when he understood that sheer brute force decides much more than eloquent speeches it was too late for him.
Control and social inequality
The Rules of Old Mayors were beautiful, but impossible to follow. Without any definitions he stated that all the animals are equivalent. This is an extremely ideal thing to state, however bad Old Mayor was looking from his– pig’s– viewpoint. Perhaps, he wasn’t ready to the scenario when some of the animals were not able to either read or understand the Commandments.
Weird, however it was Snowball, our great leader, who developed the idea of inequality. He composed the short variation of the Rules: “Four legs great, 2 legs bad”, that was (as we can see from the quotes) easy to understand even for the sheep.
Intentionally simplifying the concept to the ridiculous level, Snowball went the short way. Instead of raising the overall level of education on the farm, he simply removed the Commandments of any issues, turning it into a motto that is so simple to yell. As we see further, Snowball does not even believe that the farm inhabitants are capable of finding out and reading. From the one hand he treats them as equal in ethical sense– talking to them friendly and listening to their concerns– but from the other hand he is encouraged that just pigs have the ability to rule the farm, as the most smart animals.
As we can see, he is wrong presuming that the animals are stuck on their level of mental development. Boxer clearly wants to study reading, however he just works too difficult to have time and resources for it. He leaves it for the time of his retirement, but still he has the motivation. Who understands what could have occurred if this motivation was supported from the very start.
Still, it was the quicker decision possible. Too bad that Snowball didn’t take it as a short-term one. We see him taking all the milk, he, as other pigs, feels entitled to have it and disperse the resources. Strangely, we come from Old Mayor’s Communism to the middle ages magnificent right of power, where the responsibility of the ruler is to be the kindhearted “dad” to his nation.
The rest of the animals are quite content with such a state of affairs though. They are not used to take responsibility even for their own lives, so when the farmer is replaced by the pigs, they voluntarily give them control. On that phase the control over them is needed, since the farm has to be reconstructed and improved to protect itself against the surrounding farmers. Someone needs to make the difficult decisions. From the other hand, Napoleon uses the illiteracy and the overall low level of education to improve his power over the other animals. He intentionally doesn’t let Boxer, Clover and others learn, understanding that it may develop unnecessary issues when the animals start asking questions.
Selfish objectives versus Ignorance
If we checked out the novel thoroughly, we will see that, despite the apparent regret of Napoleon and Squealer as his PR supervisor (or just the head of propaganda), the author plainly blames the remainder of the farm for what happened to it.
We see Fighter, a positive character from the every side possible. He is really kind, when the other animals are starving he shares his food with them. He is dedicated to the objective of future joy and works extremely tough for it. He is also extremely brave, a war veteran and a hero (the quotes about the Fight of Cowshed show Boxer as one of the most scary and furious fighters on the battlefield). He is a perfect worker and builder of the Communism, how could he be guilty for what happened?
Both Boxer and Clover represent the working class. Orwell is really sceptical about their function in destroying every perfect of the Commandments: if not their lack of knowledge, everything could be far better. Their inability to take the obligation, even the slightest part of it, resulted in such a horrible effects. Even when the pig’s Celebration was interrupted by the dispute of Snowball and Napoleon, Fighter discovered it too hard for him to believe it over. He simply stayed devoted to the winner, assuming that “pal Napoleon is constantly best”. All his positive characteristics do nothing great for Fighter: without his willingness to be responsible for his life they just make him a better tool for pigs.
Clover likewise shows some signs of hesitation, saying that she remembers that Commandments were different prior to. However she is so not sure in her capability to have her own viewpoint, that she rapidly dismisses her suspicion, thinking that it’s simply her bad memory and sight. She tries to reject the apparent by convincing herself that whatever is typical and is best as it was previously. If Boxer represents the extreme commitment to the concept without believing it over, Clover represents the ignorance of most of the population. The silence of Clovers lets the wicked things happen and the enthusiasm of Boxers even helps them take place.
The pigs are undoubtedly guilty, but it is the remainder of the farm residents who let everything occur.
Dreams and truth
Another very essential theme of the book is the criticism of the utopias. Certainly, we can clearly see the ideas of Communist Russia being thoroughly ruined by regional Stalin, but Orwell utilizes it as a real-life example to show how delicate the perfect communities are. The Rules of Old Mayor are perfect, and they undoubtedly depict an ideal society where everybody ought to be happy– as any other utopian rules do. But the main issue isn’t in the guidelines. It is in individuals. At the very beginning of the story we see the very first problem Snowball deals with: the animals can’t (or do not wish to) understand the brand-new laws. They can’t be blamed for them, they are not ideal people, they are typical beings with the various levels of intelligence and understanding.
Snowball’s decision isn’t an ideal one too. Not because of his wicked intentions or just mere pride. He simply requires a quick service for the scenario. The laws will be followed, the country shall be ruled and there is no magic wand around to make everyone completely educated simultaneously.
Still, Snowball is the one who attempts to remain devoted to the ideals to the very last day. We view as he slowly comprehends that no one can live up to the utopical picture of a perfect person, so he simply attempts to implement as much of the Commandments as he can. He still takes all the milk, since he needs more resources to manage whatever (in the modern society and even in the Socialist USSR the supervisors and directors got higher salary to compensate the load of obligation they bring). So, technically he violates the very first Commandment about the equality of all the animals. However he stays faithful to the spirit of the Commandments. His windmill project (graphically portrayed in the quotes from Animal Farm) is the personification of the paradise. Everybody needs to strive for it, but then all the farm occupants will be able to rest and take pleasure in life while wind will do all the hard work.
But Snowball isn’t different from Fighter in this case. He is too immersed in dreams and future joy to see the vicious truth. He thinks (as Old Mayor did) that every pig is equally devoted to the typical objective and happy to contribute as much as he does. He, who was the first to notice that animals are not ideal, still operates the idea of a best resident and a best society. That’s why he does not see Napoleon’s envy, his plans and his desire to use the Commandments to benefit him, until it’s far too late. The dream ends with Snowball.
Later Napoleon utilizes Squealer to provide to the animals the impression that they are still are working for the common objective. The power of the initial image of the paradise and the brave deeds the animals made (like in the Battle of the Cowshed) let Napoleon exploit their sensations till the time when he has the full control and does not need to pretend to be an excellent leader anymore. The army of pet dogs and the ability to perform executions threatening animals into obedience are all the tools he requires.
In a way, Napoleon turns from Stalin (who, in spite of being an autocrat, did raise the country from the ruins and constructed a great deal of factories, schools and so on) to the later rulers of USSR, who not did anything, simply indulged themselves, using the concept of the Communist society.
The book isn’t only anti-Soviet. It shows the author’s bitter irony towards any ignorant dreams that, if someone attempts to execute them into the truth, become problems much even worse than anything before. The concepts of individuals’s life enhancement shall think about that extremely people. Nobody is able to change people: mostly they wish to do nothing and get whatever, take no responsibility, always have somebody to blame and have more ownerships than their neighbours. If a concept can’t deal with real people and can’t be comprehended by the genuine individuals it is absolutely nothing more than a design. Often, thinking too excellent about the people (as Old Mayor and partially Snowball did) works much even worse than believing regrettable about them or not thinking at all. Old Mayor’s concept stopped working while the Farmer’s federal government was reborn, simply with the representatives of another specie in charge.